ORP Turtle Patient Update Issue 12|2019


Current patients: Heidi, Eve, Artemis, Azura,Thomas and KG

We have been busy trying to keep our sea turtle patients busy with various enrichment activities in the last few weeks. Sea turtles like to engage with their food and work out how to get it, so we have been feeding them “fish-icles”! We have also provided a ball for some of them to play with – to various degrees of success. Last week we also attended the second Baa Atoll Manta Festival at Eydhafushi. About 300 school children attended from 14 different schools over 4 atolls!  We were able to showcase ORP and educate the kids on the damage ghost gear causes and how we care for turtle patients. It was an amazing day filled with fun, games and learning!


Lucky – Arrived 12th June 2019, Released 16th September 2019

Turtle patient Lucky, an olive ridley, was successfully released after 3 months at the ORP Marine Turtle Rescue Centre.

Lucky arrived at the Rescue Centre with bad wounds to her front flippers and shell. She had already self-amputated her back right flipper and her front left flipper was badly cut.

We had to amputate what was left of her back flipper and tried everything we could to (successfully) save her front flipper. After just over three months of treatment, including physiotherapy, she was given the all clear and released. Once in the sea she was off like a shot and obviously ready to go back home!

The Resident Patients

Heidi – Arrived 21st April 2018

Turtle patient Heidi after 15 months at the Rescue Centre

We are still trying to get used to calling Heidi a he… Heidi has been a hit with the guests lately and has enjoyed his fish-cicles which he eats with great gusto. Out of all the turtle patients, we are pretty sure he is the one that enjoys spa day the most! Heidi has been trying out a harness so we can take him for sea swims. We have made some adjustments to make it fit and he is still getting used to wearing it. Our goal is to get him to exercise more! It will be nice for him to see the reef and the fish and we believe he will enjoy his time out of the Rescue Centre tanks. Stay tuned for the next update!

Eve – Arrived 26th December 2019

Turtle patient Eve having accupuncture treatment

Eve has been using her right flipper well on and off the past couple of weeks. She had an x-ray to see what is happening with her shoulder joint, which showed that some of the bone lesion has improved. This is good news. She will continue on antibiotics for another 2 weeks and then we will xray again.

Her movement in the right flipper has improved this week, but there are still times when she doesn’t wish to use it. She continues with acupuncture and laser therapy.

Artemis – Arrived 27th February 2019

Turtle patient Artemis playing with a ball for enrichment whilst recovering at the ORP Marine Turtle Rescue Centre, Maldives

Artemis is hilarious as usual. He enjoys his enrichment activities; the ball initially angered him as it invaded his personal space, then it frightened him when he bit it and it moved, and then he spent the rest of the day pushing it around. The little guy was happy he could push something around that was bigger than him!

Artemis is still trying to dive, but not very successfully. He is a tough cookie and will never give up. A lot of the guests gravitated towards him this week and he has stolen many hearts.

Azura – Arrived 2nd April 2019

Turtle patient Azura enjoying a fish-icle for enrichment

Azura is doing well. She is as feisty as always and food is still the most important thing on her mind. She enjoyed her fish-icle frozen enrichment this week. Although she is still buoyant, she was seen trying to dive, so she certainly isn’t giving up on the dream of making it to the bottom! She is not a fan of the floating ball and got bored with it fairly quickly. We are waiting for the results regarding the mass on her nose.

Thomas – Arrived 18th June 2019

Turtle patient Thomas playing with a ball for enrichment, ORP Marine Turtle Rescue Centre, Maldives

Thomas is in the last stages of rehabilitation and enjoying the large tank: she is not far off now, perhaps a week or two. Thomas loves to cruise around and around. Her dives are lasting longer, she spends more time at the bottom of the tank, and her buoyancy is almost under control, but she can’t yet sleep at the bottom. Thomas’ last elbow x-ray showed no change – so her bone infection is not active anymore. She has really enjoyed her enrichment this week. We gave her a floating ball and she carried it around on her back. She is eating well, her shell wounds have almost healed.

KG – Arrived 4th September 2019

Crticially endangered hawksbill turtle patient KG injured by spear gun, Maldives

KG was being incredibly fussy with her food. For a while she would eat squid, but she is finally eating everything put in front of her. She has been more active and more comfortable with her injured flipper. Her healing is progressing well, and she will be having more time with her bandages off. She has also been a hit with the guests!